The military and VA use telehealth more than any organization I know of. They also have conducted research which shows that it reduces no-show rates and hospital readmissions and provides access to many clients who normally would not have received care.
Both, working with the military and providing telebehavioral health services require specific awareness and skills. Our interview with Mercia Cummings provides you a view of what it is truly like to provide the services.
Mercia Cummings is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). She is licensed in Maryland and Washington, D.C. She is also an Approved Clinical Supervisor in the state of Maryland for newly Licensed Graduate Professional Counselors (LGPCs) and certified to use the PREPARE/ENRICH program with married and pre-marital couples. Mrs. Cummings has extensive experience working with the military and providing telebehavioral health services.
One Million Telehealth Visits in 2018! The VA continues to expand its utilization of telehealth. 2018’s numbers are 19% higher than last years.
This number is bound to greatly increase. The new Authority of Health Care Providers to Practice Telehealth rule, published in the Federal Register on October 2nd, 2017, allows for the VA to provide telehealth services directly to veterans’ homes across the country. In addition, the VA launched its new mobile VA Video Connect application, making video sessions easier for veterans. I suspect these recent developments have only begun to show a footprint. Only 105,300 of the million + video visits were conducted using the new mobile application.
I have briefly addressed the topic of Digital Therapeutics in a previous blog entry that focused on ADHD and Esteem Therapeutics. New to this term? "Digital Therapeutics" is an emerging form of technology in healthcare that combines software programs, devices, and various interventions to generate an umbrella of caregiving that covers all the parties involved in treatment. Technological aspects are used in conjunction with other forms of "traditional" treatment such as therapy or medication. Patients and caregivers collaborate and are kept in sync with updated information that is readily available to all in order to optimize patient outcomes. Digital therapeutics addresses a wide range of conditions and provides a myriad of high-quality options for personalized patient care. Digital therapeutics forms an independent category of a broader healthcare program and is distinct from diagnostic and telehealth products. Implementing a program will involve a network of therapy options in which each component of care reinforces and supports the other.
In Opinion 19-02, the Office of Inspector General declares its support o allowing drug manufacturers to temporary loan smartphones to low-income patients who are prescribed antipsychotic digital medications. A sensor is embedded in the medication, and once taken, transmits a signal to a patch worn by the patient. The patch records ingestion of medication, rest and activity levels, and uploads the data to a smartphone app via Bluetooth. The patient has the ability to add more detailed information (moods, sleep quality) to the app, and then the app syncs with secure, cloud-based data banks.